Former Union minister P Chidambaram on Friday claimed that finance ministers of six Congress-ruled states were responsible for sorting out “the mess” created by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government in the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax.
“GST Council is sorting out the mess created by the government, thanks to the active participation and wise advice of six Congress state finance ministers,” he tweeted. “Decisions taken yesterday were largely because of the initiative taken by the Congress finance ministers.”
The senior Congress leader said that the micro, small and medium enterprises industry had got relief, “thanks to the role played by the Congress finance ministers”.
Chidambaram’s remarks came a day after the Goods and Services Tax Council doubled the exemption limit for businesses that choose to opt out of the indirect taxation system and raised the threshold for businesses to avail the composition scheme. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that the decision would give relief to the micro, small and medium enterprises.
The composition scheme helps small taxpayers avoid tedious paperwork by not having to file multiple returns and just pay a flat rate. Those who come under the scheme will pay taxes quarterly, but file returns annually, Jaitley had announced.
The GST Council comprises the finance ministers at the Union and the state levels. Thursday’s meeting was the second time the council met since the Congress won elections in three states. Congress-led governments were in power only in Punjab, Karnataka and Puducherry until last month, when the party added Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan to its tally.